It was a whacky night on the diamond, as there were several big favorites that fell last night. Of course most of the big public plays fell as well considering the public loves to hammer the favorites. To name a couple, the A’s lost as -300 favorites against the Houston Astros, and the Detroit Tigers lost in extra innings to the Chicago White Sox behind Max Scherzer. It seemed like the A’s were on the verge of escaping with a win, but Chris Young’s long fly-ball went inches from the foul pole in the bottom of the 9th with a runner on first base. Another game that had a crazy ending was in St. Louis, where another big favorite nearly fell. I’m not going to get into it, but check out the highlights on MLB.com if you get a chance.
It was all gravy for us yesterday with our pick, though. Thanks to a rain delay, starting pitchers Madison Bumgarner and Gio Gonzalez had to take an early exit in the 4th inning with the score 1-0 Nationals. Things got a little crazy from there as we got some double plays and good fortunes to ride a 4-2 Nationals final to a win on the under. Time for me to look for a winner to give us our third in a row.
Free MLB Pick
Houston Astros +205 at Oakland Athletics -245 (Total: 7.5)
Jarred Cosart (1-0, 1.36 ERA) vs. Jarrod Parker (8-6, 4.04)
Jarred vs. Jarrod Wednesday night in Oakland, and it is evident which one the books are siding with. After losing as monster favorites last night, the A’s come back tonight behind the mostly reliable Jarrod Parker as big favorites again. Surprisingly enough, the Athletics have one of the best records in MLB at 67-51 with an impressive 35-21 home mark. Regardless of the Astros’ victory Tuesday night, they are still the worst team in Major League Baseball at 38-80. Consequently, it does make sense that the Athletics are huge favorites once again tonight.
While the Astros season has been an embarrassment, they are hoping the pitcher they are sending out tonight is part of their future plans. Jarred Cosart hasn’t done anything yet to give the Astros a reason to think otherwise. Cosart has only been starting since July 12th, where he put together an excellent debut against the Tampa Bay Rays, allowing no runs in 8 innings pitched. Cosart followed that up with three straight games giving up only 1 run per game. His second start being against the Athletics, where he went 7 strong innings to give the Astros an identical win to last night, 5-4. Cosart’s worst start came in his last outing, surrendering only 2 runs against the offensively gifted Boston Red Sox. He doesn’t have much experience thus far, but has preferred to pitch on the road so far, posting an ERA of 0.86 in 21 innings pitched.
Sort of similar to how I said Gio Gonzalez is a better pitcher than his ERA indicates, I think the same with Jarrod Parker to an extent. Yes, I still think Gonzalez is a better pitcher, but Parker can shut offenses down on any given night. I think Parker should find it fun pitching against the offensively challenged Astros after they put up a whopping, for them at least, 5 runs against Bartolo Colon and company. Again, just like Gonzalez, there is one start in particular that has squashed his ERA. Three starts ago against the Angels, Parker gave up 6 runs to a good Angels’ offense. However, he came back with two solid outings against the Rangers and Blue Jays in his last couple starts.
After the way last night’s game ended, I think both teams are a little bit in a state of shock. I can see both offenses being sluggish early on against two pitchers that have the potential to get in grooves. Cosart has done everything right so far, and I believe he is the real deal. I don’t think his red hot start is smoke and mirrors. So, he should be able to hold the A’s at bay. It maybe won’t be good enough for the Astros to win the game, but it should keep this a low scoring game. I am going to make a play on the UNDER 7.5 in this contest for my official wager on Wednesday night.
Free Pick: UNDER 7.5